A man who stabbed another in the head with an ice pick in a road rage confrontation Monday may be protected under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Authorities haven’t determined that for sure, but said Tuesday they are investigating all angles. And one of the factors they have to consider is the 6-year-old law, said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.
Prosecutors will make the final decision.
It all started, deputies say, when Alcisviades Polanco, 62, cut off Wathson Adelson, 20, while driving on Manhattan Avenue.
Adelson then sped around Polanco and stopped his car. Adelson got out and walked toward the older man.
The argument became physical between Adelson — a 6-foot-3, 260-pound former Middleton High School offensive tackle — and Polanco, who is 6 feet tall and 150 pounds.
Just what happened during the confrontation isn’t clear. Deputies wouldn’t elaborate, and neither man could be reached for comment Tuesday.
But at some point, deputies say, Polanco grabbed an ice pick he had in his car and stabbed Adelson in the head and arm.
Adelson was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he remained in critical condition Tuesday.
According to Florida’s “stand your ground” law, anyone not committing a crime can use deadly force if he feels threatened with death or great bodily harm.
And precedent shows he can use it even if the threatening person is unarmed — as it appears Adelson was.
In November 2010, a Town ‘N Country jogger shot an unarmed teen eight times, killing him. The jogger, Thomas Baker, was cleared two months later when prosecutors said they were convinced he acted in self-defense.
Baker told detectives the teen punched him in the face, and Baker thought he was armed.
The “stand your ground” law factored into prosecutors’ decision, Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mark Cox said at the time.
A year earlier, a Land O’Lakes homeowner shot a man who stumbled to the door of his house at 5 a.m. and tried to open it. The homeowner went to the door and, after a short exchange, shot the man, Billy Kuch.
After two months, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office decided the shooting was justified and dropped the aggravated battery charge.
While some cases can become complicated by a “stand your ground” argument, authorities sometimes still file charges.
Trevor Dooley faces a manslaughter charge in the September 2010 shooting death of David James.
Dooley shot James on a Valrico basketball court in front of James’ daughter, deputies reported. Dooley said James lunged at him.
It took two days, but authorities charged Dooley. A trial is scheduled for January.
Polanco does not have a criminal record. Driving records show he has been cited for speeding, for not yielding the right of way, for not obeying a red light and once in 2010 for driving with a license that had been canceled, suspended or revoked.
Adelson has been arrested three times on charges of marijuana possession, state records show. He has no citations on his driving record.
St. Petersburg Times